PTO Newsletter/Contacts

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West Parish News

Caring to Learn, Learning to Care

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Please remember to log-in to School Messenger and update your families contact information.  The district has a goal of having e-mail addresses of 90% of Gloucester Public School families. It would be wonderful if West Parish could have 100% of families with e-mail contact information as this would allow us to reduce the number of phone calls going home and increase the frequency of print communication going out to families.

est Parish School PTO
Parent Express

West Parish School PTO

West Parish Upcoming Events


Wednesday April 10th is the next PTO Meeting at 6:30 in the Library.  All are welcome and encouraged to join us to discuss upcoming events.  5th Grade Committee meeting to follow at 7:30.

Friday April 12th, all LOST and FOUND items that are not claimed by this Friday will be donated!  Please look through the lost and found pile in the lobby of the school.

Friday April 12th - West Parish ImPROMptu PROM!  Dress to Impress/ Dress your best day.

Friday April 12th - Grade 1 only PJ day.

Monday April 15-19th is April Vacation!  

Monday April 22nd is Earth day and National Poetry Month.  In honor of Earth Day this year, we are asking students to write a haiku and hang it on our haiku tree outside the cafeteria. What is a haiku? A haiku is a short poem, consisting of 3 lines. It does not have to rhyme, but it does restrict the writer to 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second, and 5 syllables in the third.

Sunday April 28th -Don't forget to register for the West Parish Pride Stride Team!  Check in begins at 10am.  Walk begins at noon from Stage Fort Park.

Tuesday May 7th is Teacher Appreciation Day.   

Tuesday May 14th is the staff luncheon.  Look for a notice to come home.

Tuesday May 14th is half day of school.  Dismissal is at noontime. 

Monday May 20th is Kindergarten ScreeningNo current Kindergarten that day.

Monday May 20th - Thursday May 23rd is the Book fair.  Look for a notice about signups to come home.

Thursday May 23rd is the Celebration of Learning.


Final Count for the Food Drive!  Second floor came in with the win, but an amazing job all around with 555 lbs of food collected!!

3rd Floor 121 lbs.

2nd Floor 261.5 lbs.

1st Floor 172.5 lbs


BackYard Growers (BYG)


Wednesday April 10: Planting Day Help: BackYard Growers does not need as much help with planting the spring garden as they will with the Harvest Day June 5. If some parents would like to help out, though they would welcome it! 


April Taste Test Lunchtime Volunteers: Likely this month's taste test will be the week of April 29. If there are certain days of the week that work for you to volunteer at lunch (11:15-1:00), let us know! 


Looking ahead, West Parish will have its Garden Harvest Day Wednesday June 5, and its Salad Tasting Thursday June 6. We will need volunteers all day on Harvest Day to help students from each class come out and harvest. 


Reply if you would like to volunteer for any of these dates!

Thank you,


Information can also be found on our FB page at Friends of West Parish Elementary School






National PTA                                                                                                      

President                                            Rachel Refalo                                                      

Vice President                                   Elizabeth Ciolino                                                          

Secretary                                           Stacy Pawson                                                   

Treasurer                                          LeeAnne Ciaramitaro                                            

General questions can be directed to any of the above or to :

Please like the Friends of West Parish Facebook Page for timely and fun updates and information.

Enrichment Coordinators                    Kerri Cooke, Rachel Refalo                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Box Tops Coordinator                        Sally Bertolino                                                                                                 

Library Coordinators                         Leeanne Ciaramitaro, Adrienne Ricci-Munn          


Garden Coordinator                            Deb Telep                                                                                                                     Katharine Worthlarson                          



The purpose of the West Parish PTO shall be to ensure the well being of our school children by fostering interest and cooperation among parents, teachers and the administration in order to enhance an atmosphere of learning in the school. The West Parish PTO shall provide opportunities for enrichment to encourage the physical, mental, social and emotional growth of our children.


PTO meetings will be held the second Wednesday of every month from 6:30 until 7:30 pm in the West Parish school library (unless otherwise noted on the PTO annual calendar). If there is an item that you would like to see put on the agenda for the monthly meeting, please email Rachel Refalo (contact information above) one week prior to a PTO meeting. We welcome ALL parents and teachers to attend the PTO meetings! We welcome all ideas, comments and suggestions. These are your children, please be as involved as possible.


The WEST PARISH NEWS  newsletter will be sent home via email. This newsletter is meant to inform all parents and staff of past, present and future school events, as well as thank volunteers and students. We will try our best to include all pertinent information, however, we apologize if we miss something, big or small. If you would like to see something included in a newsletter please submit your "copy" or request in writing to Rachel Refalo (contact information above).


There are so many great ways to get involved in your child's education. However, one of the best ways is to volunteer during the school day and at special events. When your child sees you at "their" school it shows that you care and support them. It will brighten both of your days to share a smile in the school hallways!

You will be asked throughout the year to volunteer small amounts of time to pre-planned calendar events, such as a Harvest Festival in the fall and Holiday Fair in early December or the spring Jog Along. Each event will be described in the WEST PARISH NEWS as well as sent home in flyer form asking for specific hours of need. Please get involved! It is a great way to meet your fellow parents and have fun.


Our enrichment team is focused on researching, locating and planning events for our students that are provided by the outside community. The West Parish Enrichment program strives to present programs for students in all grade levels that not only enhance the Massachusetts Frameworks Curriculum, but also develop the children's education of the arts, theatre, music and science. Over the years students have experienced programs such as Art Quest, a three-day introduction to various historical artists and their style and media, and how to "read' and understand works of art; a visit from a clay artist, who taught the students about the origin of clay as well as had them sculpt works of art; a visit from Gabriela Mistral, a poet from Chile who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work; an acting Beethoven biographically introduced the students to his writing and playing of music; owls, falcons, hawks and other birds of prey were presented to West Parish students to help increase their knowledge of wildlife as well as Falconry and the Medieval world; and finally, the students heard and felt the beating of the drums as the Taiko Japanese Drummers played and learned about the structure of the drums and how their shape and materials create various sounds.

The Enrichment team is always researching new venues to incorporate into our students' learning and everyday lives. The goal of Enrichment is to introduce children to multiculturalism, arts and literature, music, science and nature and more in a fun and interesting manner while advancing the learning that is happening in the classroom. The Enrichment team would love your help! If you would like to become a part of the West Parish Enrichment team please contact any of the Enrichment coordinators (contact information above).


The West Parish staff work hard every day to provide our students with a warm, encouraging, safe, interesting and fun environment in which to learn. Although this is a "job" for them, they go above and beyond the duties of an educator, and encompass a much larger role for our children. The Hospitality committee will strive to remind the staff that we appreciate them by acknowledging their hard work with appreciation meals and small tokens of thanks throughout the year. If you are interested in helping to thank our wonderful West Parish staff, please contact Chrissy Madruga or Liz Ciolino


Box Tops can be found on many grocery items that are purchased every day. You will find a small red, white and orange "Box Tops for Education" logo on the side of boxes, frosting tins, Ziplock boxes, Juicy Juice Boxes and many more. West Parish will receive $.10 for each of these box tops sent into school. In the past West Parish has earned over $3,000.00 through Box Top Collection. Please clip your box tops for your children! Any questions, comments, or offers to help, please contact Sally Bertolino (contact information above).


The West Parish library is a very happening place! Here students are introduced to picking out their first books, researching information for their first reports, and given a calm, relaxing atmosphere in which to enjoy their love of reading. If you would like to become part of the great Library Team, which includes helping in the library as often as you can and seeing the bright faces of the West Parish community, please contact any of the Library Coordinators (contact information above).


In order for our students to become well-rounded individuals, we at the West Parish ?TO think that they need to expand their educational reach to outside families and the community that surrounds them. This entails food collections for the hungry, beach clean-up efforts, pajama and book drives and much more. If you have an idea that fits our community outreach mission, or would like to be involved with this group, please email or call Rachel Refalo.


In Spring 2010, parents decided to enrich our students education by installing new garden beds on the West Parish grounds. New beds were put in place, while old garden beds were repaired. Students then planted seeds and seedlings of all types and kinds in the gardens, included sunflower seed plantings by the future Kindergarten class in the hopes that on their first day of school they would find their prized flower! The West Parish gardens are the beginning of a community/school wide initiative to put gardens in place at every Gloucester school so that the student will learn from them, and also be able to provide healthy foods to their lunchrooms and food donation services throughout the community. If you have a green thumb, or any thumb at all, please contact Deb Telep or Katharine Worth-Larson (info above.)

Every parent is invited, urged and welcome to attend the meetings. The greater participation of our parents, the greater success of our school. Meetings offer a forum for parents to offer ideas and comments and ask questions, as well as a means of keeping up with the PTO business side of fundraising and enrichment programs. If there is something you'd like to have put on the agenda, please contact a PTO cabinet member at least a week before the meeting.